Monday, April 29, 2013
Testaverde: Tim has improved mechanics
By Rich Cimini
Vinny Testaverde, a part-time quarterback instructor at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., held clandestine workouts earlier this month with another former Jets quarterback -- Tim Tebow.
The two former Heisman Trophy winners worked out for a week at a Tampa-area high school, where Testaverde focused on improving Tebow's footwork. He felt Tebow had made significant strides, so he was bummed Monday to learn the Jets had released the famous backup.
"I was kind of disappointed because I was hoping he'd get a chance to show the coaches what we worked on," Testaverde told ESPNNewYork.com. "I think they would've been impressed if they had compared this year to last year."
Testaverde and former NFL QB Chris Weinke, one of the top instructors at IMG, evaluated Tebow last month. Testaverde and Weinke "speak the same quarterback language," as Testaverde put it, because they both played under Dan Henning, a former Jets and Panthers coordinator.
"Chris and I looked at Tim careful and we were both amazed," Testaverde said. "Everybody has been focusing on his throwing motion, trying to fix that, but nobody had picked up his footwork. His footwork was all screwed up. Chris and I looked at each other after about four or five throws, and we saw the same thing. We got his footwork fixed. His throwing motion is now a non-issue.
"He throws with what we call 'effortless power.' He doesn't have that elongated motion anymore and his head isn't moving 2 1/2 feet when he throws it."
Asked to explain Tebow's footwork flaws in layman's terms, Testaverde said "he was stepping in the wrong direction when he was throwing the football."
Two weeks after the initial session at IMG, Testaverde and Tebow met every day for a week at Jesuit High School, where Testaverde is an assistant coach. They held the sessions during school hours to avoid a scene. They worked alone on the field, enjoying the privacy. One day, they were recognized by a student looking out a lunch-room window. The student tweeted it and it was picked up by a local sports network, creating headlines.
Testaverde said he enjoyed his time with Tebow. They actually worked together briefly a couple of years ago. This time, Tebow's brother, Robby, reached out to him, asking if he could tutor Tim again.
Even though everyone in the football world knew Tebow's days with the Jets were numbered, he was "excited" to report to the offseason program two weeks ago, according to Testaverde.
"He's a positive and confident individual, and he was feeling good about learning the new stuff," Testaverde said. "He was hoping for the opportunity to showcase his abilities. So was I. Hopefully, he gets that chance somewhere else."